“I have advised the best properties in France, but there [at Domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac], for the first time, I had the good fortune to be present at the birth of a grand cru.” Lofty praise from famed oenologist Emile Peynaud, the man credited with the revival of Chateaux Margaux, with the great 78 vintage, and consultant for the likes of Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut Brion and La Lagune.
Still, a First Growth or Grand Cru in the Languedoc may seem like a stretch to many. This wine region after all is known more for bulk blends and off-license wine then for quality. But for those willing to dig deeper and explore the region, you will find world-class winemakers producing exceptional value wines.
Domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac begins its story in 1970 when Véronique and Aimé Guibert searched for a family home in Hérault, Languedoc. In the Gassac Valley, they purchased an old Mas (farmhouse) the property belonged to the Daumas family. Hence the wineries name Domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac.
At the time, they were uncertain what form of agriculture the land was best suited to. Thankfully, Chair of Geography at the Academy of Bordeaux Henri Enjalbert had already homed in on the 40ha of deep, perfectly drained soil and saw similarities between this soil and that of the finest terroirs of France. Situated in the Upper Gassac Valley, the vines would also benefit from cold air flowing down from the Larzac Plateau, keeping the vines cool at night even in the middle of the summer. The terroir was and is to this day perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon. The Guiberts planted vines and collaborated with Émile Peynaud. Over the past 50 years, they have patiently turned their domaine and the terroir into a world-class site. The second generation of the Guibert family has now taken over running the Domaine and maintains the family’s winemaking philosophy and vision for this First Growth of the Languedoc.
At the OWC, we have five wines from the Domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac range.
Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2021 – An unusual blend of 25% Viognier, 25% Chardonnay, 25% Petit Manseng, 15% Chenin Blanc and a 10% collection of 14 other rare grape varieties. If you choose to drink this wine young (in the first 18 months) it will show magnificent minerality and very complex fruit aromas. Alternatively, if kept for 4 to 12 years it will evolve into a rich wine with notes of honey and crystallized fruits.
Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2020 & Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2012 – Two different vintages of this red and with that two very different drinking windows. This wine is composed of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 other rare grape varieties. If drunk in its youth (in the first 3 years) the wine shows superb fruit aromas. From the 5th year to the 20th year, the amazing ageing potential shows with all kinds of tertiary aromas coming to the forefront. This wine is aged for 12 to 15 months in 1- to 7-year-old oak barrels.
Mas de Daumas Gassac Cuvee Emily Peynaud Rouge 2015 – This wine is made to honour Professor Emile Peynaud. A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine from vines planted in 1972. This wine is aged for 24 months in oak barrels, the first 12 in new oak and the next 12 in one- and two-year-old barrels. As the Guiberts put it, ”a tribute to the man who taught us everything, the man who unveiled the art of creating a wine.”
Mas de Daumas Gassac Vin de Laurence 2020 – This is a unique double fermented blend of Sercial and Muscat. Sercial (best known for its role in Madeira) is harvested early and vinified at searing acid levels. The sun-baked Muscat is harvested late and then added to the Sercial for a second fermentation. The wine is then aged for 8 to 10 years in old oak barrels. This wine is only produced in exceptional vintages.
We are thrilled to carry this range of wines from Mas de Daumas, a Domaine truly deserving of its cult status.